If you have been keeping up with us lately, you have probably heard the term “business sponsorships.” I want to go into a little more detail about why we are doing this and what it will look like long-term. I also want to give credit to the person who came up with this idea, Jennifer DeLoach. We are so thankful for her heart for All Things New and for always thinking of ways to make us stronger. Anyway, Jennifer, along with a few other people are currently working through the details to make this idea even better, but I wanted to give you some of the details and reasons that we are starting this new program. It is important to understand that the idea of business sponsorships is to try to ensure that we keep our current employees and that this is just the first step in a larger plan that we will unveil in stages over the next few weeks and months.
All Things New currently has 34 employees! That is a lot of employees and especially for the 19 children that live with us and 11 other children we care for in other capacities. It means that we are at almost a 1:1 employee:kid ratio. While this is a really small ratio, it is important to note that our kids are VERY well taken care of (read the blog about Maekin to see this in action), that each of our employees have specific jobs and do them well, and that our ministry does not exist just for our children but for the community. If you have been reading these blogs, you know that the #1 need in our community and in Haiti is job creation and 1 of our immediate and ongoing goals is to create as many jobs as we can. To begin with we want to create these jobs based on our needs as an orphanage, and as we progress with this ministry we want to be begin creating jobs in other areas as well. Compared to the need in our community, the jobs that we provide are on a small-scale, but they are something. We also believe that providing these jobs will potentially begin to change the economic makeup of the whole community as it will begin to create a “class” of people who have some income and who will have new needs based on their new work schedules. We hope that this change will be in effect when our kids finish school and begin to look for jobs so that there is something to work with when the time comes.
Now that I have shared with you a little about why we have so many employees let me tell you why the business sponsorship program is so important…We cannot afford to keep our employees at our current rate of fundraising and our child sponsorship does not cover the number of employees that we have right now. Without this program we will definitely have to layoff some of the people who work for us. From a business perspective, we completely understand this reality, but from a ministry perspective, we are trying to keep as many of our employees as possible. At our last board meeting, we gave ourselves until June of this year to find an additional $2,000 of monthly support to keep all of our employees. If we do not find this, we will have to fire enough employees to save that $2,000 per month. If we reach that goal by June, we have set a goal of January 1, 2017 to find an additional $2,000 of monthly support (for a total of $4,000) to ensure that we are financially strong for 2017. I am not writing this to pressure anyone into giving to All Things New, just to give you an idea of why this program will be so important for us moving forward.
I want to close by describing what we hope that this program becomes. You know that we are looking for businesses to support us financially, but let me give you some of the details of that:
Our initial goal is to find businesses that will support our employees. We would like to put employees with like-minded businesses. For instance, we would love for a restaurant to sponsor our cook, or a car dealership to sponsor our driver.
- Along with this sponsorship, All Things New would do whatever we could to provide your business a service as well. For instance, we could send photos of our employees or children that you could use as a promotional tool, you could use it as team-building for your employees to gather together around a good cause, or you could even give time-off for an employee to go down and meet the people they sponsor.
- We hope that some of these sponsorships would turn into cross-training opportunities for your business and our employees. For instance, if your restaurant sponsors our cook, we would love for you to send people down to teach our cook new culinary secrets and for our cook to show your employees things that she knows as well. We could even eventually get to the point where you could bring our employee to America to learn in a different environment.
- The last aspect of this program would include starting new businesses in Haiti. We can only provide jobs for a finite number of people at our orphanage. But if your business is willing and we find people in our community who are able, we would love to begin opening up new jobs and businesses that could meet real needs in Gressier, Haiti. This aspect of the program will be much more complicated and involved, but it will be vital for real, lasting success in changing our community for Christ.
As you probably have noticed, we have not worked out all of the details for this business sponsorship program, but we are working on that. The most important thing you could do for us now is to help us get the word out about this program. If you are a business owner, click here and become one of our business sponsors! If you do not own a business, go to the owner of the company where you work, tell your friend who owns a business, or share this blog with as many people as you can. Thanks in advance and please feel free to ask any questions that you may have!